I am not sure how I feel about Kirstie Alley. On Cheers she was brilliant. Funny, believable and just a pleasure see on the screen. Now, she does this show called Fat Actress and around the time it starts airing I start seeing all of these Jenny Craig ads. Upon seeing the first ads, I decide that I hate Kirstie Alley. She is so obnoxious in these ads that if I was contemplating using Jenny Craig, I probably wouldn’t use it because Miss Alley has turned me off so much. She just acts like such an idiot in those ads. So, it is with this state of mind that went into viewing Fat Actress - The Complete First Season.
I wanted to hate this show. I wanted to dismiss it but Kirstie Alley is pretty damn funny. I know that the people behind this show are the same creative team that does Curb Your Enthusiasm (at least that’s what I have heard), but at the end of the day she is the person on the screen and I must admit that I like her in this show. Sure she is loud, boisterous and everything else I dislike about the Jenny Craig commercials, but she is also quick witted, funny and still delivers mean barbs with the best of them. At first, I thought I was going to be watching a reality show in which we just see Kirstie Alley in her own world. Then I realized that like Curb Your Enthusiasm, this show was scripted but based a bit around Alley’s life. It works, too, it all works really well. We are seeing an actress that if given the right vehicle can really shine. Sure, she has done movies but I really think that Kirstie Alley is made for TV. She just seems to chew the scenery in this role that may or may not be accurately portraying her life. She brings a real sense of comedic timing and I for one look forward to seeing what else she can do.
Now, if she would just stop doing those darn Jenny Craig commercials, I would be a happy man.
There are commentary tracks for all of the episodes on disk one. Some of them are with Kirstie, Bryan and Rachael (the stars of the show), and the other commentaries are by some of the shows creators. These are just fun chats between the people who made this show possible. The interesting thing about Kirstie Alley doing these commentary tracks is that they seem like a continuation of the character she’s playing on the show. I really have to give her credit for having such a good sense of herself (and a sense of humor), and it really seems like there is a genuine chemistry between Alley and her costars.
On the Set
This is a behind the scenes look at the set of Fat Actress. We really get an interesting look at what it takes to put a show like this together. There seems to be such a genuine sense of goodwill, a happiness that it seems like everybody is there to have a good time. Kirstie Alley actually seems pretty serious as she dissects the show, that I get the sense that she really does have an ulterior motive behind the work she is doing. As if she’s trying to make people as comfortable with themselves as she is.
Premiere Party, Deleted Scenes and Biographies
Basically, the party is a bunch of well-wishers gushing about how great Kirstie Alley is. I was pretty impressed to hear her say that she is as happy on this show as she was on Cheers. This is basically a puff piece but it keeps in tune with the overall tone of the DVD box set. The deleted scenes are just extra riffs on parts of the show that actually seem more like bloopers. They aren’t too special and it is understandable why they were excised from the final shows. The bios are for the stars of the show and the creators. Just click around and you can read about whoever you want to know about. Personally, I think these would work much better in an audio or visual format but that’s just me.
Quick moments with Kirstie Alley being asked questions and she just shoots off shotgun responses. Again, it’s hard to tell whether she is being herself or just continuing to play the role that she does on the show. This is actually the heart of the show because with Kirstie Alley we get the sense that we are seeing an actress really being whoever she is at that moment. There are no canned responses, no preconceived ideas, she is who is at that moment and when you catch her again she might be somebody completely different.
Widescreen Presentation Enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Okay, I know this show is supposed to be in widescreen but sadly, on my small TV, it looks like full screen. Now the box says widescreen so I am going to agree that it is widescreen, but if it is widescreen those are pretty small lines at the top and bottom of the screen. This show looks great. The lighting is soft and not too crazy, but the show itself is very bright. It actually compliments the situation because most of the time it just seems that Kirstie Alley would rather be anywhere then outside and in front of people. Yet, this is the brilliance of her acting because she pulls off all the situations with effortless ease. She never seems to be outside of herself. She is in the story and we can’t help but root for her to be successful. These DVDs don’t even look compressed. This show seems very simply done with Kirstie Alley in effect “being
Fat Actress was released .